While all the entries in the Standard Bank Sikuvile Awards are exceptional, every year there are categories that standout – for better or for worse.
The Multiplatform Stories category has not only grown in the number of entries but also in the quality of the entries. “The entries often have broadcast-quality video, and are well-shot and well-edited, and used to tell standalone stories or to complement text,” says Lizeka Mda, this year’s convenor of the judging panel.
Another category that is coming into its own, is the Enterprise Category. “Entries in this category continue their upward trajectory this year, attesting to the growing significance of Enterprise Journalism in South Africa,” says Thabo Leshilo, a member of the judging panel.
The quality of entries continues to be high. “While this makes adjudication increasingly challenging for the judge, it shows that the news media are increasingly appreciating the need to differentiate themselves, by finding unique stories that’ll set them apart from competitors,” Leshilo adds.
Two categories, one established and one that was launched last year both also saw excellent entries. The Features category has always drawn a large number of high-quality entries and this year was no exception. Also boasting many great entries is the Lifestyle category.
The Lifestyle and Features categories had many excellent entries that it was extremely difficult to draw up a shortlist says Liesl Louw-Vaudran, fellow judging panel member.
“For me many brilliant features from across the country stood out showing the immense commitment by the journalists making it difficult to select the Top 10 and then a shortlist,” she says.
The judging panel reviewed the 14 categories, including the South African Story of the Year, Journalist of the Year, Upcoming/Rising Star of the Year, and the Lifetime Achiever Award – the Allan Kirkland Soga Achievement Award, which will be announced at the virtual awards event on 15 October. Winners will receive R15 000, a trophy and a certiﬁcate.
The judging panel also included Dinesh Balliah, Henry Jeffreys, Mike Siluma, Shona Bagley, Pippa Green, Mary Papayya, Neo Ntsoma, Maud Motanyane, Themba Hadebe, Gus Silber,
Tyrone August, Phindile Xaba, and Ryland Fisher.